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עמוד בית
Wed, 06.12.23

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December 2021
Yana Davidov MD, Yeruham Kleinbaum MD, Yael Inbar MD, Oranit Cohen-Ezra MD, Ella Veitsman MD, Peretz Weiss MD, Mariya Likhter MD, Tania Berdichevski MD PhD, Sima Katsherginsky BA, Avishag Hassid MA, Keren Tsaraf MA, Dana Silverberg BSc, and Ziv Ben Ari MD

Background: New direct acting antiviral agent (DAA) therapies are associated with a high sustained virological response rate (SVR) in hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients. The understanding of the impact of SVR on fibrosis stage is limited.

Objectives: To determine the effect of treatment with the DAAs on long-term liver fibrosis stages, as determined by shear-wave elastography (SWE) or FibroTest©.

Methods: Fibrosis stage was determined at baseline and at 6-month intervals after end of treatment (EOT), using two‐dimensional SWE or FibroTest©; APRI and FIB-4 scores.

Results: The study comprised 133 SVR12 patients. After a median follow-up of 15 months (range 6–33), liver fibrosis stage decreased by at least 1 stage in 75/133 patients (56%). Cirrhosis reversal was observed in 24/82 (29%). Repeated median liver stiffness SWE values in cirrhotic patients were 15.1 kPa at baseline (range 10.5–100), 13.4 kPa (range 5.5–51) at 6 months, and 11.4 kPa (range 6.1–35.8) at 12 months after EOT, P = 0.01. During the second year after EOT, no statistically significant differences in liver fibrosis stage in 12, 18, and 24 months were found. Splenomegaly was the only significant negative predictor of liver fibrosis regression during all time points of repetitive noninvasive assessment.

Conclusions: Following successful DAA treatment, the majority of our HCV patients with advanced fibrosis demonstrated significant improvement, as assessed by non-invasive methods. Advanced fibrosis stage was a negative predictor of fibrosis regression. Longer follow-up periods are required to further establish the impact of DAAs treatment in HCV patients with advanced fibrosis

Stephen Malnick MA (Oxon) MSc MBBS (Lond) AGAF and Yaakov Maor MD
May 2020
Mayson Abu Raya MD, Amir Klein MD, Edmond Sabo MD, Afif Yaccob MD MSc, Yaacov Baruch MD, Johad Khoury MD and Tarek Saadi MD

Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading cause of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. Several viral and host factors related to viral response have been reported in the era of treatment with pegylated (PEG)-interferon and ribavirin.

Objectives: To quantify histological findings from patients with chronic HCV using computerized morphometry and to investigate whether the results can predict response to medical treatment with peg-interferon and ribavirin.

Methods: We followed 58 patients with chronic HCV infection with METAVIR score F1 and F2 in our liver unit who were grouped according to treatment response sustained viral response (SVR) and non-SVR. Liver needle biopsies from these patients were evaluated and histological variables, such as inflammatory cells, collagen fibers and liver architecture, were quantified using computerized morphometrics. The pathologist who performed the histomorphometric analysis was blinded to previous patient clinical and histological information.

Results: Histomorphometric variables including the density of collagen fibers were collected. The number of inflammatory cells in the portal space and textural variable were found to be statistically significant and could be used together in a formula to predict response to treatment, with a sensitivity of 93% and a 100% specificity.

Conclusions: Histomorphometry may help to predict a patient's response to treatment at an early stage.

July 2019
Jakub Moll MD, Natasa Isailovic MsC, Maria De Santis MD PhD and Carlo Selmi MD PhD

Serum rheumatoid factors are autoantibodies of different isotypes directed against the Fc fraction of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and represent paradigmatic autoantibodies that have been largely used in clinical practice for decades. Traditionally IgG has been associated with rheumatoid arthritis and more recently included also in the classification criteria for Sjӧgren’s syndrome. Researchers have established that rheumatoid factors are positive in a variety of infectious, autoimmune, and neoplastic disorders, thus requiring a comprehensive evaluation of seropositive patients. Of note, hepatitis B and C viruses represent a crossroad that includes the high rheumatoid factor seroprevalence and chronic inflammatory disease, as well as progression to non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. Chronic antigen stimulation is the likely common ground of these processes and rheumatoid factors may represent mere bystanders or drivers of pathology. Mixed cryoglobulinemia and lymphoproliferative disease are prime examples of the deleterious effects of rheumatoid factor-B cell activity, possibly associated with hepatitis B and C. More importantly, they show a clear association in a physiological host response to infection, chronic inflammation, and the slide toward autoimmunity and malignancy. The association between hepatitis B and C infections and the appearance of serum rheumatoid factors is further supported by prevalence data, which support a coexistence of these markers in a significant proportion of cases, with viral infections being frequent causes of rheumatoid factors in patients without a rheumatic condition. We provide a comprehensive overview of the known connections between hepatitis B and C infections and rheumatoid factors.

April 2017
Eyal Lotan MD MSc, Stephen P. Raskin MD, Michal M. Amitai MD, Yeruham Kleinbaum MD, Ella Veitsman MD, Peretz Weiss MD, Oranit Cohen-Ezra MD, Tania Berdichevski MD and Ziv Ben-Ari MD

Background: Accurate assessment of liver fibrosis is crucial for the management of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

Objectives: To evaluate the performance of liver segment-to-spleen volume ratio in predicting the severity of liver fibrosis.

Methods: Sixty-four consecutive HCV patients were enrolled in this retrospective study. All patients underwent contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) and were divided into three groups based on their hepatic fibrosis stage evaluated by shear-wave elastography (SWE): non-advanced (F0–F1, n=29), advanced (F2, n=19) and severe fibrosis (F3–F4, n=16). Using semi-automated liver segmentation software, we calculated the following liver segments and spleen volumes for each participant: total liver volume (TLV), caudate lobe (CV), left lateral segment (LLV), left medial segment (LMV), right lobe (RV) and spleen (SV), a well as their ratios: CV/SV, RV/SV, LLV/SV, LMV/SV and TLV/SV.

Results: RV/SV was found to discriminate between patients with non-advanced and advanced fibrosis (P = 0.001), whereas SV, CV, RV, TLV/SV, LMV/SV and RV/SV discriminated between patients with advanced and severe fibrosis (P < 0.05). RV/SV ≤ 3.6 and RV ≤ 2.9 were identified as the best cutoff values to differentiate non-advanced from advanced fibrosis and advanced from severe fibrosis with sensitivities of 72.2% and 92.7%, specificities of 72.7% and 77.8%, and with an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.797 and 0.847, respectively (P ≤ 0.002).

Conclusions: RV/SV may be used for the assessment and monitoring of liver fibrosis in HCV patients prior to the administration of antiviral therapy, considering SWE as the reference method.


November 2015
Esther Granot MD and Etienne M. Sokal MD

The major route of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the pediatric age group is vertical, with infection occurring in up to 5% of infants born to mothers positive for HCV-RNA. The natural course of pediatric HCV infection is characterized by a high rate of spontaneous clearance, an asymptomatic clinical course, and normal or mild histologic changes. Cirrhosis is reported in 1–2% of children and progression to severe chronic liver disease and HCC occurs 20–30 years after infection. Treatment with pegylated interferon (Peg-IFN) + ribavirin results in a sustained viral response (SVR) of up to 100% in children with HCV genotypes 2 or 3 but only 45–55% in those infected with genotypes 1 or 4. Treatment is associated with adverse effects ranging from flu-like symptoms, myalgia, anemia and thrombocytopenia, to less commonly observed thyroid-related symptoms, alopecia, neuropsychiatric manifestations and possible long-term effects on growth. Ongoing trials with direct-acting antiviral agents in adults show promising results with treatment regimens of shorter duration and high tolerance. The next few years will likely see these advances introduced to the pediatric population as well. In the meantime, in children with HCV an expectant approach is advocated and treatment should be offered only to those at high risk for more severe, progressive disease. 

September 2015
Toker Ori MD, Tal Yuval MD PhD, Daher Salech MD and Shalit Meir MD
June 2013
I. Fuchs, M. Abu-Shakra and E. Sikuler
 Information on reactivation of chronic viral hepatitis infection in patients who are candidates for tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitors (TNFi) is in a constant state of flux. We retrieved the most updated guidelines (in English) of prominent rheumatological and gastroenterological professional societies for the management of chronic hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the context of treatment with TNFi. Subsequently, the major areas of uncertainty and absence of consensus in the guidelines were located and a secondary search for additional studies addressing those areas was performed. Based on our search we formulated a personal interpretation applicable to health care settings with virological laboratories capable of performing viral load measurements, and health systems that can support use of potent nucleoside/tide analogues in well-defined patient populations.


November 2008
R. Loebstein et al

Background: Infections with blood-borne viruses are a major health problem among illicit drug users. There is little information about infection rates and risk factors for hepatitis virus B, C or the human immunodeficiency virus in drug users in Israel.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of HCV[1], HBV[2] and HIV[3] infections in a large cohort of drug users in Israel; to compare rates of HCV, HBV and HIV between injecting versus non-injecting drug users and between different origin countries; and to identify risk factors for HCV among illicit drug users.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional interviewer-administered questionnaire and serological screening for HCV, HBV and HIV in 1443 consecutive drug users diagnosed at the Israeli National Center for Diagnosis of Drug Addicts between January 2003 and December 2005.

Results: Fourteen (0.9%), 51 (3.5%) and 515 (35.7%) subjects tested positive for HIV, HBV and HCV, respectively. All three infections (HIV, HBV and HCV) were significantly more common among injecting drug users and immigrants from the former Soviet Union and other East European countries compared to native Israelis. Multivariate analysis showed that HCV infection was associated with age (> 40 years) (OR=2.06, 95% CI 1.40–3.03), immigration from East European countries and the former Soviet Union (OR=4.54, 95% CI 3.28–6.28), and injecting drug use (OR=16.44, 95% CI 10.79–25.05).

Conclusions: HIV, HBV and HCV prevalence among drug users in Israel is significantly lower than in North America and West Europe. Risk factors for HCV infection in this population include injecting drug use, older age, and immigration from the former Soviet Union.

[1] HCV = hepatitis C virus

[2] HBV = hepatitis B virus

[3] HIV = human immunodeficiency virus

May 2007
N. Yarom, N. Dagon, E. Shinar and M. Gorsky

Background: Oral lichen planus is a cell-mediated immune condition of unknown etiology. A possible association of OLP[1] with hepatitis C virus infection has been documented in specific populations. However, no such possible association has been studied in Israel.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of HCV[2] antibodies among patients with OLP in Israel.

Methods: The prevalence of HCV seropositivity was studied in OLP patients (n=62) and compared with that of a control group (n=65) and with the prevalence among healthy volunteer blood donors (n=225,452) as representatives of the general population.

Results: The prevalence of HCV, as detected by the presence of anti-HCV antibodies screened by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and confirmed by recombinant immunoblot assay, was 4.8%, 1.5% and 0.1%, respectively. HCV seropositivity in the OLP patients was significantly higher than in the healthy blood donors (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: A possible association between OLP and HCV is suggested. Therefore, screening OLP patients for antibodies to HCV is recommended.

[1] OLP = oral lichen planus

[2] HCV = hepatitis C virus

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